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St. Paul Park drainage issues draw concern

Following recent heavy rainfall, several feet of standing water was left in a low point near the Riverside Park Estates third addition in St. Paul Park, prompting residents to balk at both the city and the developer.

During a recent city workshop, a handful of neighbors in the subdivision said while grading has eradicated much of the water, long-term drainage issues remain a problem.

“This is going to be a critical problem moving forward that we’ll probably have to address financially,” said Roger Meyer, who lives in the development. “It collects a lot of silt and the pictures I’ve taken illustrate the silt problem that still exists and it’s covered by sand.”

Riverside Park Estates is located on First Street, between Pullman and 13th avenues.

John Eral, owner of Creative Homes Inc. that constructed the third addition, said the original plans of the subdivision included the low point.

“It’s meant to be a drainage and infiltration system. It’s not meant to be a sewer line, where the water goes directly into the city sewer system,” Eral said. “It’s meant to allow water that collects on that site to infiltrate down into the ground.”

Mayor Keith Franke said the city was aware of the drainage issue shortly after areas of the city flooded several weeks ago.

City Engineer Morgan Dawley said during a workshop that T-drains have been installed to alleviate the standing water, which residents said is present for prolonged periods of time.

Eral acknowledged that there was “a lot of silt that was on top of (the infiltration system) from last fall through this spring because of the rain.”

The cause of the silt and sand, he said, is most likely due to an unseeded lot adjacent to the low point.

“We have cleaned all the silt off and will go back down there to look at what the water levels are,” he added. “We’re getting sod established on the final lot there, which we will do pending final engineering approval. That will help absorb some of that water.”

Before the workshop, Eral said Ts were installed “with a rock in the culvert surrounding the overflow pipe” to better allow the water to pass into the the drain system.

“The things we are doing will mitigate the standing water,” he said.

The consensus of the council was to keep an eye on the area and promptly address issues when they arise. However, Meyer suggested the developer re-evaluate the current design of the drainage system in the third addition.

“This is not going to be effective in the long run,” Meyer said. “(The Ts) might be a short-term fix, but in the long range we’re going to be looking at more inspections to make sure this is working. We feel that there should be a complete change.”